Like the prior 2010, this recently released 2011 Valserrano is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Mazuelo. It is aged for one year in oak barrels, half of which are made from American oak and half from French oak. Robust and elegant, the Crianza has deep cherry fruit flavors framed by smooth oak that make Rioja so satisfying.
The 2011 harvest was fairly free of any pests or disease so the grapes were able to reach an excellent condition of health and development by the time of harvest. As a result of these growing conditions, the 2011 vintage was ranked as “excellent” by the Control Board of the Rioja appellation and has been considered as one of the best in recent years.
This 2011 bottle is cherry-red with good depth of colour. Very bright and clear. It has intense aromas of wild berries, plums, redcurrants and hazelnuts, with a touch o pepper and nutmeg. Reminders of pipe tobacco. The result is a fresh and fruity attack. Powerful, with lively tannins which will gradually become more polished. Red-berry flavours and aftertaste. Long, lively and persistent in the finish.
Valserrano is a family winery begun in the late 1800’s and located in the Rioja Alavesa subregion of Rioja. Now run by Juan Pablo de Símon and his sons Pablo and Jaime, Valserrano produces wines from the classic grape varieties of Rioja: Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Viura.
88 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate:
There were pungent aromas of fountain pen ink, licorice and leather in the 2011 Valserrano Crianza, Tempranillo with 10% Mazuelo matured in French and American oak barrels (50/50) for 18 months. The fruit is ripe and there are also hints of peat and damp earth. The palate is medium-bodied, with grainy tannins and moderate acidity.